Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Ltd on Friday graduated a fresh batch of 85 beneficiaries of its popular Women Empowerment Project Scheme Synergy (WEPSS).
The women, who were trained in tailoring and fashion design, were drawn from INTELS’ host communities in Onne, Ogu and other parts of Rivers State, and the Niger Delta region.
The oil and gas logistics giant also donated 1,000 garments to the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD).
The Women Empowerment Project Scheme Synergy (WEPSS) was established by INTELS in 2013 to empower 5,000 community women over a 20-year period through training in fashion design and tailoring. The beneficiaries are trained and empowered by INTELS in two batches every year. More than 1,800 women have so far benefited from the training.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2023 Batch B at the WEPSS Training Centre, Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne Port, Rivers State on Thursday, the Managing Director of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Pasquale Fiore, said the scheme is part of the company’s commitment to support and empower women.
“You have demonstrated to us that promise made is promise kept by keeping to the objectives of the program through the transfer of skills, technology and employment. This shows that INTELS is a trailblazer in showing other free zone operators the way to go in making lives better,” the INTELS Managing Director, who was represented at the graduation ceremony by Barrister Sunday Wama, said.
He said in addition to attracting businesses to Nigeria and generating revenue for the government, INTELS has made significant impact on its host communities though various empowerment programmes such as WEPSS.
Mr. Fiore said WEPSS was set up to empower women in and around INTELS’ host communities to enhance their socio-economic status and to enable them generate sustainable income to support their families.
He expressed delight that WEPSS, which is in its 10th year, has made strong positive impact in the lives of women in the host communities.
He said INTELS has taken the WEPSS training a step higher by providing starter kits for the top graduating beneficiaries and also setting up a business for the best graduating student.
The Project Manager of WEPSS, Nancy Freeborn, expressed appreciation to the management of INTELS for its commitment to the empowerment of women, promotion of Nigerian content and support for local communities.
On the donation 1,000 garments to the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), she said, “We live in a society where physically challenged people are not given the opportunities that able people are opened to, so they need a hand to assist them. Some of them are already employed by INTELS, and giving them these garments will go a long way to support them.”
The high point of the graduation ceremony was the presentation of starter kits and a N2 million prize to Hannah Brown, who emerged as the Best Graduating Trainee of the Class of 2023 Batch B.
Starter kits, which include an industrial sewing machine and a steam iron among other items, were also presented to 15 other top graduating students.
The Class of 2023 Batch A Best Graduating Student, Dorbobari Dick, was also presented with the keys to a fully furnished and equipped shop to enable her start her fashion design line.